If Britain declares war on Germany in 1914 despite Berlin taking a Belgium-respecting, east-first strategy, British stategy would be:

If UK DoWs Germany in 1914 despite Berlin going east-first, UK strategy would be:

  • 1. Deploy the full BEF into France, and attack Franco-German border (A-L)

    Votes: 15 14.9%
  • 2. Deploy BEF to France *and* try to widen front against Germany to include Belgium and Netherlands

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • 3. Leave ground fight in France to French, and use British forces for Balkans or Mideast campaign

    Votes: 30 29.7%
  • 4. Leave ground fight in France to French, and just blockade Germany and snatch colonies

    Votes: 19 18.8%
  • 5. Leave ground fight in France to French, and invade German coast

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • 6. UK would be amenable to a negotiated peace w/some CP gains in the Balkans & Russia if that's all

    Votes: 4 4.0%
  • 7. Britain would accept any German offer of a status quo ante peace

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • 8. Britain would fight to force at least an 1918 style German capitulation

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • 9. UK would never go to conscription without being thrown onto the defensive in the west

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • 10. Britain would go to conscription if needed to impose maximum terms on Germany and CPs

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 11. Britain wouldn’t go to war with Germany at all.

    Votes: 22 21.8%

  • Total voters
    101
Would Britain in this scenario have any better luck getting Greece to make a rapid decision to logistically cooperate with establishing a line of supply and reinforcement to the Serbs through Salonika and the Vardar valley? Could the British sponsor a coup to get this done?
So to be clear, although I expect the British to want to expand the war to secondary theaters, I don't see any reason why they would do this better than OTL. In particular, the Greek monarchy v. Venikelos situation is extremely complex and delicate- meaning that it's very susceptible to butterflies- but I see no reason why more British intervention in the region would be more likely to tilt the balance of Greek domestic politics in their favour rather than panicking (some of) the Greeks towards support for Germany.

Also, I didn't discuss the no war option in my original post- I consider it fairly probable, but I think that Churchill and Grey will still be pro-war Belgium or no Belgium, and the rest of the cabinet will probably be pulled along by the pressure of events since Grey will still be handling foreign policy.
 
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NoMommsen

Donor
What ... 'strategy' the Brits might take would to quite some extend be dependant on what is conveniantly and constantly ignored on this thread so far :
the actual when, why, and what for the british goverment goes to war against germany​
(your former thread @raharris1973 seems not to have produced the/a wanted result, has it ?)

On this would depend the range, size and scope the support of the british populace would be for the goverments decision to go to war :
'only' naval ? ... and naval where ?​
... 'just' to protect the british isles​
... or attacking some far away coast for what ?​
no 'rape' of Belgium -> no flocking to the army for forming some 'Kitcheners Army'​
not much of an 'incentiv' for the Territorials to join any adventure on the continent​
esp. not after the casualties of the french becomming public​
how mayn men would there actally be the british high command might be able to plan with ?​
what might truly limit the choices the goverment has ... whete to take troops from ?​

IMHO only if you answer as I mentioned the
When​
Why and​
What for​
the british goverment draws the nation into war it would be worth discussion whatever 'options' it then might choose.
Otherwise this won't be more than kinda 'Kaiserreich Mod' discussion only vice versa.
 
For what its worth the RN did land the Royal Marines in Belgium to protect Ostend and then later at Dunkirk; these troops were not under the command of the BEF.

So a 'purely naval' contribution could have troops on the Continent and lead to an 'arm in the mangle' scenario that sucks the BEF in.

However, I think that if the RMB/RND guarded the Channel ports and the TF guarded Britain then the BEF would be used against the Ottomans of whoever else Britain can conduct a low risk campaign against.
 
I went for 11 no war, not because I don't think the British wouldn't join in at some point but because I suspect the cabinet divisions would make a declaration all but impossible in the short term. The question is if the BEF is not deployed does the overstretched French line snap somewhere or does the German offensive fizzle out owing to logistics and communications?
 
On the other hand, although I do expect the British to end up with an escalating commitment on the Western Front, I would expect the situation to also make them even more enthusiastic about ventures to other theaters than they were OTL- expect some kind of British efforts to help the Serbs, attack the Ottomans, and seize the German Colonies at the very least. I expect this both because the narrower front is likely to be even more obviously deadlocked than OTL and because the war is likely less popular with the British chattering classes, which will make quick victories and public ties to Serbia (now Britain's official causus belli as they can't cite Belgian neutrality) more desirable.
This is the logical response. However, from what I understand of the contemporary behavior, nearly everybody involved in or observing the war who hadn't yet mounted an attack themselves looked at the massive casualties befalling attackers and responded:

"You idiots just don't know how to attack properly, hold my beer/wine/schnapps and watch this!"

Does Britain avoid the temptation? I feel like they're going to push for at least one chance to let their troops have a proper crack at the German lines.
 
How about a landing in the Adriatic aimed at getting into Germany through Austria?
Where is a better landing spot in the Adriatic, a contested beach or port on the Austrian shore, or landing in the friendly Montenegrin Bay of Kotor and marching north from there. The further north you land the closer you are to Germany, but there's mountain ranges between the Adriatic and Germany either way.
 
The PoD requires Britain to join the war. If Britain joins the war all the war plans have the BEF being despatched to France.
As previously mentioned, the only genuine hawk in the British Cabinet was prepared to abandon British boots on the continent to get Britain into the war.
Namibia wasn't third rate and as for the rest the same reasons as OTL, as war prizes understandable to the British population, to deny them to the Germans, because they were there, the last three centuries of British strategy etc.
No, the vast majority of the French colonial empire were restored after the Napoleonic Wars. The German colonial assets were trash compared to the Dutch or French equivalents, because the Germans joined the ranks of the colonial powers centuries late and were even late for the scramble for Africa. Most of the German colonial empire was simply a collection of money sink.
In East Africa Tanganyika gives Britain a solid line of colonies running from the Cape of Good Hope in the South to Alexandria in the north.
Yeah, a British north-south line across Africa was a British aspiration in a similar way to the German aspiration for an east-west line across Africa which evolved into the MittelAfrica aspiration. I doubt if either aspiration would have been prioritised ahead of strategic objectives closer to home.
For what its worth the RN did land the Royal Marines in Belgium to protect Ostend and then later at Dunkirk; these troops were not under the command of the BEF.
If the Germans are not in Belgium, that would be an opposed landing and the British lack of amphibious capabilities was an unknown, unknown (to the British).
So a 'purely naval' contribution could have troops on the Continent and lead to an 'arm in the mangle' scenario that sucks the BEF in.
Only if Britain was prepared to initiate the violation of Belgian neutrality - good luck selling that to the British Cabinet.
However, I think that if the RMB/RND guarded the Channel ports and the TF guarded Britain then the BEF would be used against the Ottomans of whoever else Britain can conduct a low risk campaign against.
Define 'low risk'. I suspect OTL Gallipoli would be the best case scenario.
 
If the Germans are not in Belgium, that would be an opposed landing and the British lack of amphibious capabilities was an unknown, unknown (to the British).
Only if Britain was prepared to initiate the violation of Belgian neutrality - good luck selling that to the British Cabinet.
If Belgian neutrality was respected then the RMB/RND could go to Dunkirk instead of Ostend, the point being that the 'naval' campaign did include landing troops independently of the BEF to protect ports.

Define 'low risk'. I suspect OTL Gallipoli would be the best case scenario.
As shit as Gallipoli was, it was nothing compared to the risk involved in the OTL Western Front. Failing that, a mix of OTL actions and proposals; Mesopotamia, Sinai and perhaps the proposed landing at Alexandretta(?).
 
If Belgian neutrality was respected then the RMB/RND could go to Dunkirk instead of Ostend, the point being that the 'naval' campaign did include landing troops independently of the BEF to protect ports.
It's difficult to imagine how such REMFs could become entangled in French offensives, hundreds of miles away.

As shit as Gallipoli was, it was nothing compared to the risk involved in the OTL Western Front. Failing that, a mix of OTL actions and proposals; Mesopotamia, Sinai and perhaps the proposed landing at Alexandretta(?).
I did suggest Gallipoli was the best case scenario. OTL the German excursion into Belgium saved the French Army from the worst excesses of Joffre's offensive doctrines. I shudder to think what the First Lord of the admiralty would dream up if he has the BEF at his disposal and wants to get into the action.
 
If I'm not mistaken, debating Irish home rule was at the top of the agenda before the war put it on the back burner.

So while the continent is pre-occupied and unable to harass them, Britain and Ireland sit down and have a talk that's nearly 300 years overdue by that point.
 
It's difficult to imagine how such REMFs could become entangled in French offensives, hundreds of miles away.
You think the Royal Marines are REMFs? You think the Royal Naval Division that fought at the siege of Antwerp and Gallipoli are REMFs?
 
That's the role you imagined for them in this scenario.
Just to be clear a Rear Echelon Mother Fucker works in rear areas on supply and the like. The Royal Marine Light Infantry and Royal Marine Artillery that made up the Royal Marine Brigade in 1914 were supported by REMFs, they weren't REMFs.

Also, I stated what the Royal Navy did with the RMB in support of it's own (not BEF) operations IOTL.

I further suggested that given the RN used the RMB this way saying that a pure naval campaign won't result in troops in France is likely a fallacy. More likely the RMB will be deployed to France, and once there the arm is in the mangle; the RMB will become the RND for starters.


post-37255-0-87822000-1416840818.jpg
 
So far i understand this from Books*

The British Government not wanted be involve in the war and keep (for the moment) a Neutral position.
But as German Army marched into Belgium, violate it's Neutrality, guaranteed by two treaties with British Empire.
The British Government had to declare War and send BEF to the continent.
Even here the BEF Field Marshal Sir John French consider this a lost cause and wanted to withdrawal BEF in 1915,
he got replaced by Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

Back to Topic: What if Belgium is not invaded ?
1,2 makes no sense, under that situation Netherlands was neutral, what germans respected.
And i think that Queen Wilhelmina not wanted that Netherland is dragged into this war by anyone.
although deploy the BEF in Belgium would happen, to help the Belgium and give clear warning to Germans. do not invade Belgium.

3 yes that match better the British wanted to expand there Empire in mideast, but i don't known how bad was french-british rivalry in that time ?
But attacking the Ottoman empire would let to declarations of War by Germany

4 would make sense for support the French, but this lead to declarations of War by Germans and BEF arrive in France
5 invade German coast ? good luck without D-Day style infrastructure in the german wadden sea (mud fields at low tide)
oh by way, those fewer north sea coastline were you could land, the Germans installed there Navy harbors, good luck landing there...
8 would only work if Germany and Britain have declare war to each other if point 4 happens.

7,9,10,11 Belgium not invaded, Britain stay neutral and try to peace talks with parties.

but is this realistic ?
i pointed out that several options what dragged Britain into War: Mideast, snatch colonies, installment of sea blockade.
in that case BEF arrive later on french frontline, to late ?

* the Book i read on matter

Virtual history Alternatives and Counterfactuals
Niall Ferguson
Picador 1997

What if? (1)
Robert Cowley ed.
G.P. Putnam's sons 1999
 
The Royal Marine Light Infantry and Royal Marine Artillery that made up the Royal Marine Brigade in 1914 were supported by REMFs, they weren't REMFs.
That's OTL.
But you put any combat unit onto a safe billet where there is no chance of action, all takes on what would now be called Fobbits. Weren't called that in West Germany when I was there, but units at say, Augsburg or Mannheim, worry more about spit and polish and how clean the grounds were kept, than 'being a lean, mean, fighting machine' IIRC it was 3AD at Friedberg that the Brass had the guys polish their tanks, till they shone glossy Olive Drab- not a great look
 
That's OTL.
But you put any combat unit onto a safe billet where there is no chance of action, all takes on what would now be called Fobbits. Weren't called that in West Germany when I was there, but units at say, Augsburg or Mannheim, worry more about spit and polish and how clean the grounds were kept, than 'being a lean, mean, fighting machine' IIRC it was 3AD at Friedberg that the Brass had the guys polish their tanks, till they shone glossy Olive Drab- not a great look
To clarify, we're talking about a scenario where Britain has limited its contribution to only naval actions. Further as per OTL naval actions included landing Royal Marines in Ostend on Aug 27-30 and Dunkirk from Sep 19 where it was reinforced by the first Territorial unit deployed to France on 22 Sep. Therefore it's likely that a naval-only campaign will result in Royal Marines being deployed as the Advanced Base Force in France.

The difference from TTL to OTL Cold War is that the French are furiously fighting the Germans on the frontier, not just a threat, and the RN is sweeping into the Heligoland Bight. So the RMB won't be sitting around polishing boots, they will be digging field fortifications, guarding the ports and the like in anticipation of a possible breakthrough on the frontier.
 
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